Do, or do not. There is no try.
~ Yoda, from The Empire Strikes Back
This past week began with your Educator developers rolling out the largest Educator change in its long history. Merriam-Webster defines epic as extending beyond the usual or ordinary especially in size or scope. From Homer’s Odyssey through Dante’s Inferno to Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings and beyond Star Wars … our lives are filled with some epic recollections.
This rollout became a journey for all of us. You should know that every member of the Educator development team is indeed a Star Wars fan. In the end each one of us believes in Yoda’s commandment above; get the job done! It always begins with trying. And the goal is never attained without the constant striving and the continual doing.
Your feedback was a tremendous source of guidance and encouragement to the entire Ucompass team. If you can appreciate where Educator is heading, then pat your selves on the back! In the diary of the past five days, you’ve helped us come a long way since Sunday. Together we have managed to make Educator a much better home for learning and teaching, and we’re not done.
The first enhancement we added was simply a way for you to retrieve the left-hand navigation bar anytime you wanted. We recognize this as a matter of personal preference and adjustment.
For anyone who might not have seen the email or followed along, you can retrieve that navigation bar by clicking your name on the toolbar, select ACCOUNT PREFERENCES, and elect the SIDE NAVIGATION. Click SAVE, and this navigation will be attached to your account.
Take a look at our tweaking and polishing diary over the past few days …
Sunday November 2nd:
- Fixed School Link on TA Grade Book
- Removed empty parentheses if student doesn’t have segment information
- Updates to better resize announcements
- Fixed institution appearing incorrectly on TA Grade Report
- The toolbar listing courses in arranged order as opposed to alphanumeric order
- Teacher courses are now listed before Student or TA courses
- Turned on temporary navigation for mobile users (working on resolution)
Monday November 3rd:
- Added weeks active to student grade report
- Re-arranged logic to better re-size iframes for announcements
- Added students username to Student Grade Report
- Moved iframe resize code outside of document (for future dashboard performance)
- Added css to always display archive correctly on Teacher/TA inbox
- Teacher/TA Workload now only displays empty stars on hover
- Removed padding and margin from grade book css for the body (to view full grade book)
- Added old navigation to old style gradebook
- Toolbar update for ask a tutor link
Tuesday November 4th:
- More changes to Announcement iframes, setting widths more appropriately
Wednesday November 5th:
- While viewing grade report on phones, the assessment name will once again always be visible
- Added student’s e-mail back to Grade Report Header
- Added supervisor e-mail (if available) to Student Grade Report header
- FLVS CONNECT replaces the non-existent Staff Central link on the toolbar
Thursday, November 6th:
This caught our eye on Facebook today:
Hi, one more thing! My partner and I have checked and the default mail in Educator (when checking mail from a student) goes to 10. So, if I set it to 100, it goes back to 10 each time. I get a lot of email, so it always has to be set. I called tech and they stated there was not a problem with my system, which led me to ask another teacher if it happens to them- and yes- it defaults each time to 10. So, when you go to email in Educator, if you have 50 emails, it will only show you 10 at a time. I would like to make it so it shows all 100 plus as my default- can that be fixed?
Has that ever bothered you? Would you like to see that changed? Maybe you have mentioned it before, and we somehow lost that post or email. If so, please accept our apologies. Moving along … guess what? Your SHOW NUMBER for emails will stick from now on. This holds true for teachers, TA’s, and students. If you like making things stick when you can, you should be happy with this.
Today brought some other things to our attention here …
Hi, The spell check icon is there but as I click on it, it does not open.
Then someone shared this:
One thing I need help with currently is inserting an object ID is not working while I am grading nor is the Add Audio tool under the students or teacher comments box. I like to be able to quickly add an audio file to feedback I give my students but now I cannot. Any workarounds or quick fixes? Thanks; I am loving the new look in Educator. You guys are doing a great job!
There was also this notation in Facebook:
One note: at this point I have been unable to add audio—now and previously recorded. Am I missing something? And thanks for always being forward-thinking and speedy in addressing suggestions!
While we really do appreciate the gratitude and kudos, our march toward the finest service excellence demanded that something be done. It has been. All systems are now working as expected. We apologize for any slight inconvenience. Put them all through your paces, and let us know how things are running.
There was another matter that bothered us. Why was the NEXT UNGRADED ESSAY box getting in the way of progress? First, we read this comment about the magical box:
Thanks. It slows down the grading, so I would love it to move or the text to wrap so that it isn’t under the box!!!
This idea followed that comment:
Could the box be moved off center (to the right)? It also covers the workflow number (i.e. assessment 7 of 25). Moving it slightly to the right might solve both of these problems.
We are well aware how this feature has been very popular with teachers. We wanted to give it another major tweak, and it just rolled out for you to experience. The NEXT UNGRADED ESSAY navigation will now appear on the bottom of your browser window. Take a look …
You’ll also notice that we thought some additional information might prove valuable to you when reviewing and grading student essays. The idea actually came from you!
In the box within exams where they let you advance to next essay question and have added student name (thank GOODNESS), could they also add the exam number? It would save having to scroll back up for forgetful minds like mine.
We have added:
- Student name (Segment)
- Exam number and title
- Number of remaining ungraded essays
- Current exam grade
As you scroll through the exams this information will always be there. What do you think?
It has been a busy week for us and for you. We do appreciate your patience and your trust. Thanks for helping out the students, although rumor has it that things were a breeze on that front. We are now working to change how mobile devices respond. That’s not far away, and we will keep you posted. We had to temporarily return those navigation buttons to mobile devices. They won’t be there for long, and we appreciate your understanding. Finally …
Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.
~ Ferris Bueller, from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off